SNP Government’s unlawful planning changes

TWO companies bidding to build hundreds of new homes in Stirling have called on the Scottish Government to back the move following the outcome of a new court case brought by the developers.

Scottish businesses Graham’s The Family Dairy and Mactaggart & Mickel are working together to deliver a mixed-use development of up to 600 homes including 150 affordable homes, a primary school and public park on land in Stirling, a development recommended for planning permission by council officers and refused by Scottish ministers amid greenbelt concerns in a decision that was subsequently quashed by courts on two separate occasions.

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An appeal is currently being determined by the Department for Planning, and Environmental Appeals which will report to Scottish ministers later this year.

The Scottish Government said it would consider the latest decision before responding. 

The firms said that following one court decision in 2020, Scottish ministers published amendments to the Scottish Planning Policy.

READ MORE: Court win for Scottish firm at heart of major planning row

“We raised fundamental concerns with Scottish Government about the consultation approach being taken but despite this the amendments were made. This left us no option but to challenge the process through the courts,” the companies said in a statement.

“On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, the Outer House of the Court of Session determined that the process Scottish ministers adopted was ‘so unfair as to be unlawful’ and quashed the amendments to the Scottish Planning Policy.

“While we are pleased at the outcome, we are disappointed that we have, yet again, had to take Scottish ministers to court.

“The issue is the latest case centred on planning policy and the delivery of land for new homes in Scotland.”

The statement continued: “Our intention has always been to work with Scottish Government, regulatory agencies and the communities we live and work in to deliver sustainable, economic growth. This remains the case. The court’s decision alongside the new ministerial and executive team at Scottish Government presents the opportunity to constructively re-engage on our plans.

“Approving these would accelerate the delivery of much needed new, affordable and mixed tenure homes within a place led masterplan, that will enable significant investment in the local economy, as Stirling and Scotland rebuild and thrive.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is in receipt of the court’s judgement and is considering its terms in detail before making any further comment.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992